Aqib Talib, star Cornerback of the Super Bowl winning Denver Broncos, has escaped suspension for offences committed during the season ending showpiece, instead being fined $26,044 for his indiscretions.
During the Broncos 24-10 victory in Super Bowl 50, Talib was on the wrong end of calls for a faceguard infringement and for taunting his beleaguered opposition. The faceguard penalty almost proved very costly to his team as the Carolina Panthers scored on their very next play to reduce the deficit to three points, although that was as good as it got for Cam Newton’s team and Aqib Talib ultimately ended on the winning team.
The Bleacher Report had earlier reported that the league was considering banning Talib for the faceguard incident after the cornerback had admitted that he grabbed Panthers receive Corey Browns helmet intentionally. However, he has escaped with a modest fine for the two offences, leaving him available for the opening match of next season where the Broncos will be looking to defend their Super Bowl title.
The cornerback has previous with offenses. In November 2015, he received a one match ban after he poked Indianapolis Colts Dwayne Allen in the eye during a confrontation. The offense in November was described as one of the worst cheap shots in the history of the game, and although Talib appealed the suspension, the one game ban saw him miss a clash with Denver’s close rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. He also received a four game ban in 2012 after testing positive for the prescription drug Adderall which Talib admitted to taking without a valid prescription. The four game ban from the start of the 2012/13 season ultimately played a part in Tampa Bay deciding to trade Aqib to the New England Patriots, where he signed an initial 12-month contract which was extended for a further year.
During the early part of his career Talib was plagued with disciplinary problems on and off the pitch. In 2008, he was involved in a brawl with a fellow Buccaneers rookie and in 2009 he was charged with resisting arrest and simple battery after an incident with a taxi driver in Florida.
Despite these problems with discipline and persistent hip problems, which led to him missing a number of games for New England, Aqib Talib has developed into one of the best Cornerbacks in the game and he has become one of the best paid as a consequence. After two seasons playing for the Patriots he became a free agent and his fine performances for the Patriots caught the eye of Broncos legend John Elway. This led to Talib earning a transfer to the Broncos where, according to a report on NFL, he received the highest income guarantee for a Cornerback in NFL history after the Denver committed to pay him at least $26 million. If Talib fulfils all six years of the contract he will receive up to $57 million.
Next season is to be the final guaranteed season on the lucrative contract and Aqib Talib may well see it has his best chance to add another Super Bowl ring, with the defensive partnership he has formed with DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, and Chris Harris Jr. again expected to be amongst the league leaders. They formed the number one defence during the 2015/16 regular season and were also responsible for scoring vital points in the Super Bowl success.
One thing is for certain. Given the financial package that he is on Aqib Talib will not let the league’s $26,044 penalty distract him from celebrating the success of his team in Super Bowl 50, and it is unlikely to deter him from further offences. It is a fair bet that most players will happily take a fine in return for the most coveted of prizes, the Super Bowl ring.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]